Robert J. Johnson, 26, of Cleveland, was indicted on two counts of distribution of fentanyl, which killed a woman in 2015, according to the United States Department of Justice.
Officials reported Johnson's charges stemmed from sales of fentanyl on Aug. 25, 2015 and Aug. 27, 2015. The Aug. 25 sale resulted in the death of another person, according to the indictment.
Johnson could face a 20-year mandatory minimum penalty, officials said.
“Fentanyl abuse has caused on unprecedented wave of overdose deaths in our community over the past few weeks,” Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said. “The only way we can stem this tide is with a comprehensive approach focused on prevention, treatment, prescribing practices and enforcement. And on the enforcement side, we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who continue to peddle this poison in our community.”
“The heroin epidemic affects not only those who fall victim to drug abuse, but family members, friends, and the community as a whole,” Cleveland Police Commander Gary Gingell said. “Now more than ever it is imperative that those trafficking in heroin are held accountable for their actions as they are responsible for not only promoting drug use, but for the deaths of these victims. I am proud to say that the Cleveland Division of Police partners with the United States Attorney’s Office to ensure that these cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”